I’m not sure how it started, maybe driving through the nearby Amish community, but I’ve had an interest in the Amish lifestyle for a long time. Since I was a teenager I’ve enjoyed reading the Amish books by Beverly Lewis. Knowing those are fiction, I’ve also spent time reading non-fiction books about the Amish and watching documentaries.
It’s a life so different than most of ours, a step back in time while living close by. While I couldn’t live that way and it’s not my faith, I do find it just so fascinating. And I believe we can gain wisdom from their lifestyle.
For the last several years my mom and I have attended the nearby Amish school auction. Every time we look at the beautiful hand stitched quilts we are amazed by the craftsmanship. We have made the comment that if we didn’t have the internet we could have time to make beautiful things like that. There is a lot of truth to that. It’s very easy to waste a lot of time online.
The Amish also can teach us skills that help us to be more frugal and live a more simple life. There are many things I’ve picked up on from the Amish over the years I have spent learning about their lifestyle that I feel most of us can benefit from adding to our lives. Here are some of the things I’ve learned.
Be Happy With Less
Amish homes are simple. They don’t always need the newest things, they live very minimalistically. While being a minimalist is not something that would bring me joy, I do feel it’s important to value the things you have and be content. I love hunting for vintage treasures and I like a cozy home but being content where you are and with what you currently have is important. It also helps keep you from buying things you can’t afford.
Grow and Preserve Your Own Food
This is something I’m still trying to add to my life but can really save you so much money. It’s also better for the environment and our health. Right now I feel like I’m in the learning stage for this one. I love to see all of the things A Modern Homestead is growing and preserving. Her blog is teaching me so much.
Use a Clothes Line
You won’t see me washing my clothes by hand like many Amish woman do but they are very wise to use a clothes line. Line drying your clothes does tend to be easier on our clothes, better for the environment, and help us cut our electricity costs. Many also find hanging clothes on a line to be relaxing and most of us could use the vitamin D.
Cook From Scratch
I know in the Amish community near me they don’t always cook from scratch or use natural ingredients. However, in many communities it’s still the norm and they still cook from scratch far more than the average population. Cooking from scratch helps save us money and is generally better for our health. It also doesn’t always have to mean more work. Click here to learn how to make a homemade baking mix that will save you time and money. It can be used in a lot of recipes and will seem like you are taking a shortcut using a mix but you will know it has good, healthy ingredients.
Buy in Bulk
The Amish often have large families making buying in bulk a necessity but it’s also often more frugal. Your local stores may have bulk options and you also often buy things in bulk through Amazon. Just be sure to check the per unit cost and be sure you will really use all of the product before it goes bad.
Learn New Skills
The Amish learn new skills from members of the community. Things like sewing, knitting, and woodworking. They are usually passed down through generations. This is not as common in the modern world. You can still learn these useful skills though. I’ve signed up for some sewing classes on Craftsy, a site with great online classes to learn many useful skills. You can also often find classes in your own community. Many of these skills help you save money over hiring someone or buying an already made product. If you find you are very talented at one of these skills you can even sell some of your goods to bring in extra income.
Reduce Screen Time
When we reduce the amount of time spent watching TV, browsing the internet, and getting sucked into social media, we are left with a lot of free time. That free time can be used doing the things above which can help us save money. We would likely be happier and healthier as well.
What are some frugal lessons you think we can take from the Amish lifestyle?
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